What happened with the Charleston shooter’s background check? Did he pass it? Did he fail?

Here’s what happened: the background check was never completed.  Most background checks take just minutes for an approval or denial to register. But some take a bit longer, and under federal law, if a clear answer doesn’t come back in three days, the seller can sell the gun.

Moving forward with a sale like this means putting guns in the hands of people who are dangerous. As we saw with the tragedy in Charleston, allowing sales to go forward without a completed check can be a death sentence for mothers, fathers, and children.

Fortunately, in PA, our background check system (PICS) allows extra time for a background check to be completed. The default is to protect safety, not to let a sale go through in the absence of a completed check.

PICS and the federal system work in tandem to keep PA safe. We’re fortunate to have this system in PA. But wouldn’t you know — the gun lobby doesn’t like it, and yet again is pushing a bill that would eliminate it.

Can you take a minute to tell your Representative that a background check is only worthwhile if it’s completed?